In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. VOTERS REJECT ISLAM-BASHING, PROFILING OF MUSLIMS
CAIR applauds election of first American Muslim congressman
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/8/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today welcomed the rejection of “Islam-bashing” and profiling as campaign issues in yesterday’s mid-term elections.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also applauded the election of Keith Ellison in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. He will be the first American Muslim in Congress.
Ellison won yesterday’s election by a more than two-to-one margin, despite campaign attacks on his connection to the Muslim community. The Star Tribune newspaper said his GOP opponent’s “hateful attempt to tie Ellison and his party to Islamic extremism” was “reprehensible.”
In an editorial endorsing Ellison, the Star Tribune noted: “The real drama in this race is the way Republican Alan Fine has discredited his own campaign with overwrought attacks on Ellison.”
Candidates who were vocal supporters of “profiling” Muslims and Middle Easterners lost elections in Wisconsin and Illinois.
In Wisconsin, 3rd Congressional District GOP candidate Paul Nelson suggested looking for anyone who is “wearing a turban and his name is Muhammad” when he was questioned about his call for profiling of Muslims.
Republican candidate for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District Andrea Zinga said: “Profiling doesn’t bother me if we are profiling the people who. . .have caused the outrages against our nation and caused the deaths of American citizens. . .We’re talking about Mideastern men.”
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum lost his seat in the Senate after targeting so-called “Islamic fascism” during his campaign. Santorum even linked the Islamic concept of Jihad to Nazism when he said: “Mein Kampf means struggle; jihad means struggle.”
And in Florida, both gubernatorial candidates repudiated anti-Muslim remarks made by supporters during the campaign.
“The election of an American Muslim candidate to national office and the rejection of those who promoted societal division and mistrust send a clear message that the United States is a nation that embraces people of all faiths,” said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Legislative Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 202-488-8787, 571-278-4658, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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